Dear Friends of Utah,
Each June, Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy hosts its Tribute luncheon - an event that recognizes and honors those who help advance its mission, programs, and services. When I started with UCCD six years ago, this event quickly became one of my favorites because, for an organization that fosters people-to-people diplomacy, the people who show up to support the work of our organization are the backbone of the work we do; and after two very long years of postponing our Tribute event, I am grateful and humbled that we were able to host it last week.
I also want to give special recognition to our Citizen Diplomat award recipients, Jackie Biskupski, 35th Mayor of Salt Lake City; Sherrie Swensen, Salt Lake County Clerk; and Heber Ford, a student at Lone Peak High School.
One of our Young Diplomats of Utah, Ameena Ahmed, recently shared, "Young Diplomats of Utah [a UCCD youth program] has taken my vague curiosity for diplomacy to a completely different level of understanding. Whether it's the diplomacy simulation or the cultural events we have the opportunity to attend, being a Young Diplomat has helped me find a passion for foreign affairs."
I believe this quote embraces the spirit of Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy – we take people's curiosity about diplomacy and foster a passion for foreign affairs.
Because of this passion, people from around the world meet many extraordinary people in Utah like you. So I want to say thank you to all of you who:
- meet with our international visitors and share your professional knowledge,
- open your home and host them for dinner or provide homestays,
- volunteered at our events,
- help move UCCD forward by interning or volunteering in our office,
- to all of you who have donated to UCCD.
I also want to give a special thank you to our Board of Directors for their passion and dedication, and to our UCCD staff, whose energy, creativity, and tenacity amaze me every day.
With great appreciation,